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Decoding childcare expenses: Navigating the costs of quality care

by | Mar 28, 2024 | Nannies

Choosing the right childcare option is a significant decision for parents, as it directly impacts both their child`s well-being and family`s budget. Two popular choices are hiring a Nanny for personalised care at home where the individual child’s needs are met or enrolling their child/children in a group setting such as a nursery. In this blog, we`ll delve into the costs associated with each option, helping parents make an informed decision based on their needs and financial considerations.

Nanny costs VS Nursery costs:

Whilst Nurseries at first glance may seem a more cost-effective child-care option in today’s busy world where time is money hiring a Nanny can be excellent value for money.  Currently on average a full-time live-in Nanny earns approximately £45000 gross per annum in exchange for 60 hours of in house 1:1 care. A live-out Nanny earns approximately £55000 + gross per annum in exchange for 55 hours of 1:1 care. Of course, like any sector these figures are candidate & job specification dependant, additional costs may include benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and additional perks for the Nanny such as meals.

There is no set London rate for nursery and fees fluctuate dependant on extended hours, special facilities, events, day trips, specialised programs, or extracurricular activities & of course reputation and location. Starting costs usually involve a monthly fee that covers teaching, meals and basic supplies, with many private nurseries only taking children from the age of 2 +

Considerations for hiring a Nanny:

  • The more children you have, the more cost effective a Nanny can be.
  • Nannies offer flexibility in terms of schedules and personalised care tailored to the child`s needs and schedule.
  • Some Nannies are highly trained so a well-qualified and experienced Nanny who may even speak another language you may wish to introduce to your child.
  • Hiring a Nanny offers the advantage of one-on-one attention for your child in the familiar surroundings of your home.
  • Nannies provide cover from parents commute to and from work thus avoiding time consuming nursery drop offs & pick-ups.
  • Nannies are responsible for everything childcare related, this can include doing their laundry and ironing, preparing their meals, keeping their playroom/ area clean, tidy and organised, cleaning up after activities and ensuring the children’s bathroom is clean and tidy after use.

Considerations for Nursery Enrolment:

  • Parents should consider the location, reputation, and curriculum of the nursery, as well as the staff-to-child ratio to ensure adequate attention for each child.
  • Nurseries provide a structured routine that accommodates a group of children, promoting early development and group skills.
  • Nurseries can have strict opening and closing times. Some also close in the summer, which will require parents having to find alternative childcare arrangements at a cost.
  • Staff turnover can sometimes be high which means children have to adapt to new faces regularly.
  • Most nurseries will understandably have a strict rule about bringing sick children to nursery and require you to collect your child if they become unwell. Little ones are known for transmitting illnesses to one another. The upside of a Nanny is they will almost certainly be available to help look after your sick child.
  • There are however a range of funded early education and childcare schemes available. Families with children under the age of 2 are currently not eligible for any funded hours and with reports of parents experiencing difficulty in finding available slots the funding is not a going suit household, however the government has recently announced that:
  • From April 2024, all eligible working parents of two-year-olds + will be able to access funding for 15 hours per week of education and care for 38 weeks of the year.
  • From September 2024 all eligible working parents of children aged nine months – three years old will be able to access 15 hours per week of education and care for 38 weeks per year.
  • From September 2025 all eligible working parents of children aged nine-months – three years old will be able to access 30 hours per week of education for 38 weeks per year.

Families must meet certain requirements to be eligible. Two main criteria include:

  • Earn more than the equivalent of 16 hours at national living wage or minimum wage per week.
  • Earn less than £100,000 per year. This applies to each parent/carer in a dual parent household.

Hidden costs:

  • Both options may incur additional costs beyond the basic fees. For Nannies, unexpected expenses may arise, such as sick leave or emergency situations.
  • Nurseries might have hidden costs like late pick-up fees, charges for additional services, or costs associated with specific programs.

Ultimately, the decision between hiring a Nanny and enrolling a child in nursery hinges on various factors, including family preferences, child`s needs & financial considerations. By thoroughly evaluating the costs of and benefits of each option, parents can make an informed choice that aligns with their priorities, ensuring a positive and nurturing environment for their child.

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